I finally had a chance to sit down and watch (absorb) the
All-Day Charlotte Mason seminar on DVD which I had ordered from Simply Charlotte Mason. Let me preface my post by saying that I am in no way affiliated with their company and have not been asked to write a review on this or any other product they sell. The product was simply just something I ordered to help me understand more about the CM method of teaching.
The DVDs are a recording of a live CM seminar taught by Sonya Shafer. There are 3 DVDs and a companion workbook that enables one to follow along and take notes. I did not order the Laying Down the Rails DVD as I had already listened to the audio and am in the process of reading the book.
I've read just about everything out there I can get my hands on concerning Charlotte Mason, but this has to be, by far, the most comprehensive, all-in-one resource I've seen. Sonya does a wonderful job laying it all out for you, in easy to understand steps and language.
She starts out with an introduction to Charlotte Mason, who she was and what her thoughts on education were, followed by a summary of her methods and a list of useful books and websites for using Charlotte Mason.
Sonya explains the basic, main principles to follow in executing this type of education, and gives definitions and examples for things such as narration and living books.
She then walks you through each and every subject you could even think about teaching and the way in which you would teach it, Charlotte Mason style, utilizing living books, map drills, nature walks, copywork, narration, etc.
Included in the workbook are sample lists of poets, artists, composers, handicrafts, and narration ideas. She also includes the directions for a very simple scripture memory system. I am going to try this system in our upcoming year.
At the very end of the workbook are the note pages for the Laying Down the Rails seminar. You can order this DVD with the package or order it separately.
When I finished watching the seminar, I had a complete workbook full of notes and ideas that I can refer back to as I am currently tackling planning our next years lessons. I'm planning using the Planning Your Charlotte Mason Education DVD and workbook. That will be part 2 of my review!
I would definitely recommend this product both to someone wanting to start using Charlotte Mason methods and to someone who is already using them. Sonya has wonderful ideas and insights and is a joy to listen to. It's also very handy to have all my notes and ideas in one book!
I read yesterday on the SCM forums that a new DVD set had been released entitled The Books and Things Seminar. This one demonstrates how to educate using good living books and the things around us. I placed an order today, and am highly anticipating it's arrival~